You’ve heard the saying, “Image is everything.” It’s not only true, it’s also a commonly-used slogan in advertising. Businesses like McDonalds (“I’m lovin’ it”) and AllState Insurance (“You’re in good hands”) use slogans, or tag lines, to help build brand identity. It’s part of a bigger-picture marketing strategy and it’s important that businesses, no matter what size, implement such a strategy to carve out their own niche in the marketplace.
Even if you’re a solo Online marketplace builder, you want your customers to identify you as the “go-to” person in your field. That’s what brand identity does: It helps differentiate you from the competition–it tells your customers, “This is who I am and what I stand for, and this is my approach to business.”
But how do you, the small business owner, go about building your brand? Do you have to spend big bucks on an image consulting firm or a public relations company? The short answer is: no. What you basically have to do is figure out exactly what your core product or service is, and then decide what direction to go in order to achieve the maximum profit potential from it.
According to expert Vickie Sullivan (sullivanspeaker.com), you need to:
- Determine your business model (what do you do–what do you have to offer–what are your strengths?)
- Identify revenue streams (what are the different ways you can make money from your expertise)
- Establish your manifesto (“put your flag in the ground”: This is what I do and this is my approach)
- Plan strategies for executing your business model
She calls this strategic planning “Marketing Intelligence”–plotting your course by looking at the marketplace to see which segment you should target to make the most money from what you do. After all, you deserve to make top dollar for your services, so it only makes sense to approach the customers who can afford to pay what you’re worth, right?
This method emphasizes your approach rather than the tools you’ll use to implement your plan. In other words, identifying the highest paying segment of your market will help you determine what product or service to offer, and what marketing methods you should use to reach that segment.
When you think about it, this is a great way to figure out how to build brand identity. You’ll use only those marketing methods that target the kind of customers you want to sell to, and you can customize your “brand” using the tools best suited for attracting those particular people.
Marketing tools can include:
- The media (local, national, or international)
- A website
- Publications (books you’ve written, articles written about you)
- Promotional materials (company brochure, trade show giveaways, direct mail)
Regardless of the tools you use, your message, or signature style, will remain consistent–it’s your platform, or brand identity, expressed in your slogan, logo, elevator speech, sales pitch, etc. When you develop your style that says: “This is who I am and this is my approach,” you’ve established your brand identity.
Ecommerce has proven to be a blessing for numerous entrepreneurs who have succeeded in selling their products online. Listing the products on marketplaces like Amazon, FlipKart and Snapdeal was the way to reach customers situated at various locations in the early days. Now the trend has switched to having an independent online store for obtaining more profit. So one of the most common questions asked by a number of brick and mortar retailers is,
“How to build an online store?”
Let’s consider the most convenient, affordable and time saving solution for this question. The answer is ‘Ecommerce platforms’ which offers the best ways to create an online store and start selling your products instantly.
Getting your online business started with ecommerce platforms has multiple benefits like:
1. No need of technical knowledge for starting your online store.
2. Customer support to guide you through all the difficulties.
3. Create a brand value for your products.
4. Provide offers and discounts for creating a loyal customer base.
5. SEO features for ranking on the top Google search results.
6. Pre-developed carts for faster and easier checkouts with multiple payment options.
But before you choose an online store builder, you should be aware of the features they provide. Also you should check the features along with your requirements for getting your store kick started.
Here is a set of the top three questions to ask before you build an online store.
1. Is the platform easy to use?
Working with an ecommerce platform that is not easy to understand can be a big drawback. The dashboard provided to you plays a key role in understanding the platform and hence it should offer a smooth learning curve. Creating various product catalogue, uploading product images, managing orders and payments should be an easy to handle task. If you find the platform too difficult to understand, you can go for any other choice available in the market.
2. Do they ensure flexibility?
The entire process right from signing in till the checkout should be smooth and easy for the customers. Flexibility is the key factor which can make a good shopping experience when you build an online store. Picking a platform which offers a customizable solution that can handle the complex flow of the online store is a necessity. An ecommerce platform that provides flexibility at every step is the perfect option which can easily accommodate the diverse requirements of etailers.
3. Is the platform mobile friendly?
Always remember the fact that small screen makes huge profit. Mobile commerce has brought tremendous change in the market and helped customers in easy shopping and entrepreneurs in gaining more profit. If you build an online store which is not mobile friendly then you might lose considerable traffic and conversions resulting in overall loss for your business must know that making profit can be next to impossible. Hence, having the mobile website becomes a necessity.
Many small publicly-traded companies face a huge challenge: How to build liquidity in their stock in the current economic environment. I receive a lot of leads from small companies looking for help with regard to liquidity.
Most small and micro cap company stocks have limited liquidity. There are a limited number of investors and still quite a few traders but how does a company attract them? How does a company achieve liquidity?
All companies that already have liquidity in their stock have a few things in common:
- A real company and a real business that is actually selling products and/or services
- A following of loyal shareholders
- Large “footprint” on the Internet (explanation coming)
Most stocks that perform well in the marketplace over a period of time (weeks or months) will have a company that has been making a lot of “noise”. This noise makes the company easy to find using search engines. In other words, if you “Google” (search using the company name) the company, you will find plenty of news releases, lots of mentions by individuals on social media platforms, message boards and in many cases, mentions or articles in blogs. Companies that have a big buzz will return not just a few results but pages and pages of results in search engine results pages.
Creating Buzz and Liquidity
A buzz is something that all companies want – it is the best way to have stock liquidity over a long period of time. The buzz is created through news releases and filings by the company which are marketed by their PR/IR firm. A good PR/IR firm will know how to get maximum distribution of press releases and how to create press releases out of filings like Quarterlies, 8Ks and such. But it is not done with just one press release. Press releases need to be organized into a series of effective press releases over months.
Distribution of press releases through blogs and social media platforms, if done right will greatly increase the reach of a press release over time. In other words, the life of a press release can extend to months or even years if handled properly.
An engaging social media platform presence is very important as well. It is important to have people engaged on your platforms that care about your business. Companies and PR/IR firms have been using social media platforms in all the wrong ways for the most part.
Instead of targeting people that are actually interested in the client company’s business, they have gone for “the numbers”. Some entities have thousands or tens of thousands of friends, likes, followers and what have you and maybe only a handful of those people actually care about the business or the company.